For a couple of weeks now I have been live-blogging as I work though matches for ‘autism’ in IBBY’s guide to “outstanding books” for disabled young people.
|@omchildhood tweet promoting the previous posting|
Since the previous posting, I have come to feel confirmed in my thinking that live-blogging could be a thing – from reading the draft of a blog by a student I’m currently teaching who has started, excitingly, live-blogging scholarship relevant to the particular mythological topic she is investigating.
As I mentioned in the previous posting, the next match – to something in English – has an attention-grabbing title of Funny, you don’t look autistic. It’s Canadian, again from 2019, by a stand-up comedian, Michael McCeary:
McCreary, Michael (text), Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic Toronto, Canada: Annick Press, 2019 [176pp.] ISBN 978-1-77321-257-9
It’s the first of the matches to be a work of non-fiction: it is presented in the evaluation as “a mix of life story and facts about the subject he knows best – autism” (p.36). It tells about the author’s experiences, for example with bullies, along with what are described as “information sidebars”.
The evaluator concludes by telling the potential reader “what will stick in your mind is a fuller understanding of living life in a different way” (p.36 again). So – the evaluation, though perhaps not the book, is assuming a non-autistic reader wanting to understand an autistic experience. It is not clear if the book is for adults, or children, or for autistic or non-autistic readers.
There is a potential mismatch, then, between the possible readership imagined by the IBBY evaluator and the title of the guide which refers to books “for” disabled young people (emphasis added).
I’ve just done a very quick search for the author. According to what I have found out, he is in his twenties, was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome when aged 5, and – according to the webpage from a the Kingston WritersFest, where he performed in 2019, seeks to address, in his words “the lighter side of Asperger’s” while doing something serious, via comedy as “the only medium…that can turn a perceived disability into a weapon.” It sounds from this very quick and initial dive that the author might very well do his stand-up routines with non-autistic people in mind, though I’m not sure yet.
The next match – I’d wondered whether there would be another one as I am now quite far down the catalogue – again has a sticking, this time a Bowie-esque, title: Planet Earth is Blue. I’ll get to it as soon as I can – hopefully tomorrow…
Post a Comment